Pacquiao: ‘Dangerous’ to pick Speaker who’s not from PDP-Laban
Updated @ 6:56 p.m., June 12, 2019, to add more quotes
MANILA, Philippines — It would be “dangerous” to select a House Speaker who is not from the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Sen. Manny Pacquiao said on Wednesday.
“It’s dangerous. He might clash with the President,” Pacquiao, speaking in Filipino, told reporters at a press briefing in Pasay City.
He acknowledged, however, that the President might opt to endorse an aspirant who was not from the PDP-Laban.
According to Pacquiao, one of the considerations for selecting the party nominee for House Speaker is loyalty to President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ang tinitingnan natin dito baka mamaya last two years or last one year before elections baka susuwagin na ang Pangulo natin. Dapat tuloy-tuloy hanggang sa matapos. Maganda naman ang programa ng Pangulo,” Pacquiao said.
[What we’re looking at is this: In the last two years or last year before elections, the Speaker might clash with our President. He should continue to be with the President until the end of his term. Anyway, the President’s programs are good.]
Asked if no impeachment would emanate from the House if the Speaker would be from the ruling party, Pacquiao’s response was short: “Wala.”
Pacquiao added another reason why the next House Speaker should be from the ruling party.
“Ang Pangulo kasi PDP. Tapos pinakamalaking party member sa lower house, PDP,” Pacquiao said. “Ang Pangulo naman natin ang ginagawa para sa bayan, hindi para sa sarili. So pangalagaan natin. Suportahan natin.”
[The President is with PDP. And the biggest party in the lower house is PDP. Our President is doing everything for the country, not for himself. So let’s take care of him. Let’s support him.]
What if Duterte endorses someone from another party?
Three PDP-Laban members are vying for the speakership — Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, a former House Speaker; Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco; and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr.
Also vying for the post are Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party.
If the President should choose to endorse an aspirant outside the PDP-Laban party, Pacquiao said he would still suggest that to him to pick someone from the ruling party.
“Saka tayo mag-suggest na kailangan PDP kasi PDP ang Pangulo natin,” Pacquiao said.
[That’s when I will suggest that the Speaker will have to be from PDP because the President is from PDP.]
Delegated to announce nominee
The three PDP-Laban speakership aspirants had a dinner meeting on Tuesday night with Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, at Pacquiao’s Makati residence to discuss their bids.
Following the meeting, Pimentel designated Pacquiao to be the authorized person to announce the party nominee for the speakership.
According to Pacquiao, the party is eyeing to select its nominee for the speakership before he leaves on Saturday for his boxing match in the United States.
Pacquiao said the party would still need to consult with the President, PDP-Laban chairman, before revealing the nominee.
“Hindi pa tayo nakapag-finalize sa napili kung sino sa partido. Ikokonsulta din natin sa Pangulo. alam niyo naman ang Pangulo, PDP,” Pacquiao said.
[We have not finalized the selection for the party nominee. We will consult with the President. As you know, the President is with PDP.]
The next Speaker will be elected at the opening of the 18th Congress on July 22.
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